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Pet Care's New Pedigree

Professional and mass beauty brands are expanding into the pet care segment.

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: November 4, 2008, from the November 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

Celebrity hair stylist John Masters’ love of the animal kingdom may have flourished after adding Amber to his staff. The golden retriever spent the last 10 years of her life in the John Masters Organics SoHo salon in New York City, lying at the founder’s feet and greeting clientele. However, before Amber’s death in 2005 due to complications from cancer, Masters’ vision of sustainability, health and wellness transferred not only to his salon environment through the concept of an ammonia-free, “open-air” store, but also to his dogs—including his newest puppy, Maya.

“People who care to use the best in organic products for themselves usually want the same for their furry friends,” Masters says. “We took all of our knowledge in hair care, with many of the same ingredients, and created a formula for dogs.”

Washing dogs with the natural shampoo he created for his regular clients inspired Masters to expand his luxury organic hair and skin care brand into pet care, specially formulated for the pH level of dogs. Since his introduction to the beauty industry in the 1970s, Masters has taken his experience mixing organic essential oils and herbs in his kitchen sink to more than 30 total SKUs across 20 countries, including DogPoo, launched in April 2008. The playfully named, salon-developed shampoo, enhanced by citronella, tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils, promotes a shiny coat, free of fleas and ticks.

“Everyone kept asking me if I used my products on Maya, because she has a brilliant shiny coat,” Masters says, replying, “Of course I do.” With Masters’ dog in the salon each day, his customers soon began bringing in their dogs, too. This, in turn, grew his brand. Now Masters is looking into adding a dog coat conditioner and anti-odor shine spray to his pet care line. He hopes to pitch the ideas to his current distributors in independent pet shops across China, Japan and the U.K.

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